For the second year in a row, the men’s soccer team concluded its season with a Northeast Regional ECAC championship.

UR defended it’s ECAC title by defeating Skidmore College and SUNY Plattsburg at Plattsburg this weekend, and finished the season 13-4-2 and 4-3 in the University Athletic Association under the guidance of first year head coach Chris Apple.

The Yellow-jackets rebounded from a bit of a slump at the end of the season, winning the ECAC crown after finishing their last three regular season games with two losses and a tie.

Apple was pleased with what he called an “outstanding effort” from his team in their final competition of the season.

“It shows a lot of character and determination to come off losses to Brandeis and St. Lawrence at the end of the season and keep fighting to rebound,” Apple said. “It would have been easy to give up and go through the motions, but we went up there and every single player fought hard.”

Apple was particularly pleased with the play of sophomore defender Nate Rimmke and junior forward Jacques Appleby.

Appleby finished the tournament with two goals, including the game-winner against Skidmore in the semi-final, and was chosen as the tour-nament’s Most Valuable Pla-yer.

UR won Friday’s semifinal game by a score of 2-1 behind goals from senior forward Bill Miller and Appleby.

Miller opened the scoring for the Yellowjackets at 14:27 in the first half when he finished a rebound from sophomore midfielder Nick Wheeler’s shot.

Skidmore equalized towards the end of the first half, but UR responded with a goal midway through the second half to break the tie.

The second goal belonged to Appleby, who knocked in a rebound from junior forward Mike Chen to send UR into the championship match the following day.

Saturday’s championship match pitted UR with host SUNY Plattsburg, who defeated SUNY Fredonia 2-1 in overtime the previous day.

Chen, junior midfielder Alex Haas, and Appleby all scored goals en route to UR’s 3-1 victory, while freshman goalkeeper Peter Francis earned his first varsity start and collegiate victory.

UR went up 1-0 just thirteen minutes into the first half when Chen finished his own rebound after collecting a pass from Rimmke.

Haas doubled UR’s lead at 62:43 off a ball from senior midfielder Ramzi Sidani.

Plattsburg was able to get on the board with a goal at 77:15, but Appleby struck for his second goal of the tournament, which was assisted by sophomore midfielder Ben Cross, five minutes later to ensure the win.

“A lot of people knock Rochester as being a ‘turf team,'” Apple said. “To go and win a championship on the road ? and on grass ? against a great team at their home field shows a lot.”

“We set really high standards and expectations and came very close to achieving almost all of our goals,” he continued. “We may have fallen short in a couple areas, but when you take a step back and look at the overall success of the team ? 13 wins and an ECAC championship ? those are great accomplishments.”

In addition to being named MVP for the ECAC tournament, Appleby was recently recognized by the University Athletic Association as second team all-conference, along with teammates sophomore midfielder Brandon Laws and Chen.

Appleby led UR in scoring with 11 goals and one assist for 25 points, five game-winning goals, and was the fifth leading scorer in the UAA with five in-conference goals.

Chen finished second in scoring for UR with six goals and two assists.

Cross led the team in assists with seven, while sophomore midfielder Nick Wheeler had five.

Sophomore goalkeeper Brian Minehan earned six shutouts in 1531:04-minutes of play.

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